Thursday, August 27, 2009

Have you seen me lately?

I miss me. I miss the person who lived to eat and eat well. I could really use some more time with the self that was capable of cooking a meal, a real flavor-filled meal with actual foods. Especially now, as the literal fruit of my earlier labour is ripening on my porch; why can't I eat the tomatoes I've raised? Why do I have to miss the best produce at the farmer's market? Why do I have to eat a pre-breakfast sacrifice to keep down a bit of breakfast?

I know the "sickness", as Ryan affectionately called it, is hopefully almost over. I even know that its actually a good thing that I have such high levels of hCG pregnancy hormones that make me sick. They ultimately mean that I have a strong healthy baby. That bit of knowledge goes a long way towards making my daily time in the bathroom happier. It is especially encouraging when compared to the possibility of thinking the sickness had other causes.

For instance, an 1893 manual called Safe Counsel or Practical Eugenics attributed morning sickness to "an irritation in the womb caused by some derangement, and it is greatly irritated by the habit of indulging in sexual gratification during pregnancy." Ah, the relief of imaging that I throw up, can't eat anything, and feel lousy because I'm deranged or depraved. I can see that many a mother-to-be would readily adopt the advice of the authors to "preserve [her] vital forces" against such indulgence.

But to the subject at hand, real food. I lay awake at night thinking of foods that I can eat. Foods in the safety zone are generally processed and salty if otherwise flavourless. It was a great day to discover that fried rice, from the right take-out place where its not overly greasy, was safe. My Dad felt that I had some level of derangement when after a day of throwing up everytime we stopped the car, I requested a Chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich, no pickles but with bar-b-que sauce-even-if-it-kills-me. It may interest you to know that the joy of discovering that particular safe food was quickly killed by the fact that the nearest Chick-fil-a is now 221 miles from my home. As mentioned, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup is acceptable.

But the farmer's market will not wait. The produce is ripe and now is the time. I am missing out on prime canning season. I took up canning last year and had big plans for this year. Jars of homemade pickles, pickled beets, canned tomatoes, jams and salsa were as good as stockpiled in my mental cellar. The real cellar holds only the wine I can no longer drink and a few jars of apricot jam that came up in the early season. I probably need to come to terms with the idea of a bare cellar for the year. The smell of dill sends me running from the market. It very nearly caused a bad and embarrassing scene mid-market. So did the farmer who insisted I bite into a cucumber.

I am not alone in missing this portion of myself. Andrew is a sadder, hungrier man without the old me. Visiting friends note that we're eating out and I'm even serving ready-made pizzas, to Italians no less (the shame). But as much as I try, the kitchen produces smells and smells repel the new me. Even my favourite smell, the one I could turn to for a guaranteed pick-me-up: sauteing garlic, is no longer a balm.


  1. well, this may not be helpful at all, but this is what you find when you google "eating pregnant smells" (a highly refined search, clearly):

    also, i'm mourning the temporary loss of the salvation you found in sauteing garlic. deeply.

  2. Good grief, if "the sickness" is a manifestation of some form of derangement, then both my baby and I are severely and irrevocably deranged! I was sick, sick, sick until 19 weeks, but fear not, good lady: most women stop tossing cookies loong before that. I'm just an overachiever. And I hear you on the salty, processed stuff. One night I was checking out in front of a young, single guy who looked about 22 years old, and I realized that - apart from the beer and the fact that my "nuggets" were meatless, our items were virtually indistinguishable. As my OB said, eat whatever stays down - whatever! The calories are the most important thing. As unlikely as it seems, you can produce a beautiful, healthy baby on fritos and velveeta shells and cheese. Just ask my kid. And hey, I figure all those preservatives will just help her live longer!